The Sengupta house was a landmark of sorts for those living in the vicinity. The sprawling grounds with lovely trees generated a long sigh in those passing by on Volvo buses, the only vehicles which could peep across the high walls. People wondered about the colourful and musical parties held on those grounds. Most of them imagined how it would be like to live in such a palatial home. If they imagined Mr.Sengupta to be rude and arrogant, they were far from reality. He was a very humble and helpful man. He never turned away anyone who came to him in need. He had a good business brain along with a compassionate heart. His daughter was however a more analytical soul, searching for justice and balance. Her mother had died when she was young and her father's unmarried,intellectual sister, lived with them. She raised the little girl into a fine woman, quite capable to hold her ground at all times. They had the usual support staff which included the cook, the gardener, the driver etc. But Tara Pishi maintained a strict vigil over all what transpired within the high walls. Her sharp eyes burned into everyone. Nothing could be hid from her.
The tired Mr.Sengupta sat in deep thought, on the elegant white chair, in the front lawn. Tara Pishi was making the tea while Shikha munched on a biscuit.
This evening, anyone who peaked would not fantasize about the grandness of their lives. They had a cloud of grief hanging above. Their movements mechanical, weary. All the wealth that they had could not erase the troubles they now faced. Their dear family friends Ajay Ghosh and his wife were brutally murdered, the night before, while asleep in their own bed. Stabbed, multiple times. Everything pointed to their only son, Rohan, who was engaged to Shikha.
While the violence and savagery left the whole town shocked and saddened, Mr.Sengupta was convinced that Rohan was innocent He had known him from childhood and loved him as a son. He was determined to ensure that Rohan is freed.
He was sipping his tea when he suddenly needed to vent some more.
“What I don't understand is why would they consider Rohan as a suspect ?
He has no motive. They haven't written a single paise to his name. He doesn't inherit the business. What will he gain ?I told them so many times. They don't care. Just keep repeating that the knife had his prints and their blood and he was in the house”.
Shikha : “Daddy calm down. Kishore uncle is getting a forensic specialist, so now we can be sure we have tried every possible door to help him.”
Mr.Sengupta : “How can I ? I think of him as my own son .”
Shikha : “I know daddy.. But now we have to be clam and take care of our health and make sure we do not miss out anything significant. No point in being emotional. So cool down”
Mr.Sengupta : “I don't know how you can be so cool. The greatest disaster has occurred and you are asking me to say calm ?”
Shikha shook her head and stood up. “I am going to my room, daddy.”
As she walked, the night before played out in front of her eyes, scene by scene. They had been to a party. Rohan was dancing with some guys and girls.
She had tried to get them to exit “Let's make a move now, its getting late.”
But Rohan shook his head, disagreeing: “No, I am enjoying.”
Shikha : “OK, I am going to sit down for some time. You want to eat something ?
Rohan: “Not hungry. You eat.”
He continues to make funny dance moves .
She was sitting at a corner table with a tray of some food with another friend when her phone rang.
Shikha : “Yes, Aunty, we are having food now. Yes, he is here. He is dancing aunty but I can see him. Yes Aunty, we will leave now.”
She gently disturbed the dancing Rohan again. I think we should go. Your mother had called.”
Rohan looked irritated.
Rohan: Now this has to stop! They have turned you into an additional spy. Tracking my moves and
Shikha : “Rohan, it's late,so she just called that's all. She never said anything. I think it would be good for us to leave.”
Rohan: “ I don't think want to go yet.”
He moves to the bar and downs another drink..
Shikha sits down near him. “Are you okay Rohan ?”
Rohan : “Yeah, I am having fun. I just don't want to go back home and back into the whole serious world . People just bothering you with business, land deals,...aargh”
His face wore the look of disgust.
Shikha : “OK, then what makes you happy? You cannot party all your day and night. You have to deal with people and business.”
Rohan: “Yeah,I will deal with people and business but not my family pushing me. Not people who want to hang on my neck claiming to know me better and suffocate me.”
Shikha : Rohan, Who is hanging on your neck ? Am I suffocating you ?
Rohan laughs. “You are my buddy Shikha. Are you sure you want to marry me ? I am crazy, Shikha. I wont be a good husband.”
Shikha looks at him strangely,confused.
Rohan looks at her seriously: “Run for your life while you can.”
Shikha pales a bit and suddenly Rohan bursts out laughing.
Rohan : “OK now don't freak out but Shikha, you should explore the world before you get hitched with a no good dude me.”
He goes back dancing while she stares at the empty bar stool.